What's Your Stock Market Story? - Bloomberg View: "For a brief moment, we understand how little we really understand. The grim reality of human cognition is that however little we know, we understand even less. Hence, the accidental revelation in the headline is more noteworthy for how extraordinary it is. Markets move up and down for no apparent reason. We have spilled plenty of ink and generated billions of pixels explaining why people want and need reasons to explain these movements. The human love of narrative is a dangerous cognitive failing that constantly leads investors astray." (read more at link above)
It's estimated that between 80,000 and 81,000 prisoners are in some form of solitary confinement in the US -- Huda Akil, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, is interested in the neurological impacts of isolation, but is limited by the fact that no U.S. prison is willing to allow its otherwise isolated prisoners to take part in research. (source infra)
The Science of Solitary Confinement | Science | Smithsonian: ""The United States, in many ways, is an outlier in the world," said Craig Haney, a psychologist at UC Santa Cruz who's spent the last few decades studying the mental effects of the prison system, especially solitary confinement. "We really are the only country that resorts regularly, and on a long-term basis, to this form of punitive confinement. Ironically, we spend very little time analyzing the effects of it."... It's impossible to say how isolated prisoners fare as a whole fare compared to King, because there's no systematic collection of data on their well-being in the U.S. prison system. But the researchers argue that just these hints of the damage wrought by solitary confinement—and the way it seems to make prisoners less-equipped to re-enter society after their sentence—indicate that it falls within a category of discipline banned by the eight amendment: cruel and unusual punishment. "It seems to me that it is time for us to have a serious discussion about the wisdom and humanity of this policy in the United States," Haney said."
Self-absorption, self-doubt. It's all about self --
Letter from ‘Manhattan’ by Joan Didion | The New York Review of Books: "“Overeducation” is something Woody Allen seems to discern more often than the rest of us might. “I know so many people who are well-educated and super-educated,” he told an interviewer for Time recently. “Their common problem is that they have no understanding and no wisdom; without that, their education can only take them so far.” In other words they have problems with their “relationships,” they have failed to “work through” the material of their lives with a trained evaluator, they have yet to perfect the quality of their emotional consumption. Wisdom is hard to find. Happiness takes research. The message that large numbers of people are getting from Manhattan and Interiors and Annie Hall is that this kind of emotional shopping around is the proper business of life’s better students, that adolescence can now extend to middle age."
Optimism Bias—the inclination to overestimate the likelihood of encountering positive events in the future and to underestimate the likelihood of experiencing negative events -- almost everyone has it --
The Optimism Bias: " ....We wear rose-tinted glasses whether we are eight or eighty. Schoolchildren as young as nine have been reported to express optimistic expectations about their adult lives, and a survey published in 2005 revealed that older adults (ages sixty to eighty) are just as likely to see the glass half full as middle-aged adults (ages thirty-six to fifty-nine) and young adults (ages eighteen to twenty-five). Optimism is prevalent in every age group, race, and socioeconomic status. Sharot argues that one of the reasons the optimism bias is so powerful is precisely because, similar to our other biases, we’re largely unaware of its existence. Yet data clearly shows that most people overestimate their prospects for professional achievement; expect their children to be extraordinarily gifted; miscalculate their likely life span (sometimes by twenty years or more); expect to be healthier than the average person and more successful than their peers; hugely underestimate their likelihood of divorce, cancer, and unemployment...." (read more at link above)